Study on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products recommended

Study on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products recommended

A national report by Lord Carter of Coles recommends the government commissions a study on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products.

A national report for the Department of Health and Social Care by Lord Carter of Coles has recommended that the government commission the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to undertake a study on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products prepared in pharmacy aseptic environments.

The report which was commissioned to review the operational productivity and performance in NHS Hospital Pharmacy Aseptic Services. The report makes a number of recommendations across a broad range of areas including the workforce, innovation, R&D and productivity.

One of the principal recommendations from the report is the introduction of a hub and spoke model. This would enable the most commonly used injectable medicines to be produced at large scale regional hubs and for current aseptic service sites to be freed up to focus on new, bespoke or very short-life medicines.

However, most pertinent to the SHBN is the recommendation for an NIHR study into exposure of staff to hazardous medicinal products. The report highlights the risk to healthcare professionals in the preparation of hazardous drugs, stating that while low level occupational exposure has been evidenced extensively for cytotoxic medicines, there is limited understanding of the impact of low-level exposure to other, potentially hazardous medicines.

It brings attention to the European Commissions ongoing review of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive looking into the scale, nature and cost of occupational exposure. Emphasising that Spain, Italy and France have already began making changes to their procedures in preparation for the forthcoming changes to the Directive.

The report proposes that the government “Commission the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to undertake studies on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products prepared in pharmacy aseptic environments. Develop systems to monitor and review global evidence on risks associated with exposure to hazardous products during aseptic preparation.”

The report which was commissioned to review the operational productivity and performance in NHS Hospital Pharmacy Aseptic Services. The report makes a number of recommendations across a broad range of areas including the workforce, innovation, R&D and productivity.

One of the principal recommendations from the report is the introduction of a hub and spoke model. This would enable the most commonly used injectable medicines to be produced at large scale regional hubs and for current aseptic service sites to be freed up to focus on new, bespoke or very short-life medicines.

However, most pertinent to the SHBN is the recommendation for an NIHR study into exposure of staff to hazardous medicinal products. The report highlights the risk to healthcare professionals in the preparation of hazardous drugs, stating that while low level occupational exposure has been evidenced extensively for cytotoxic medicines, there is limited understanding of the impact of low-level exposure to other, potentially hazardous medicines.

It brings attention to the European Commissions ongoing review of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive looking into the scale, nature and cost of occupational exposure. Emphasising that Spain, Italy and France have already began making changes to their procedures in preparation for the forthcoming changes to the Directive.

The report proposes that the government “Commission the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to undertake studies on the risks of exposure for staff to potentially hazardous parenteral products prepared in pharmacy aseptic environments. Develop systems to monitor and review global evidence on risks associated with exposure to hazardous products during aseptic preparation.”

Supporters

The Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network is supported by the following organisations.

  • Unison
  • RCN
  • phs
  • PHE
  • PASG-NHS
  • NHS Wales
  • NHS Supply Chain
  • NHS Resolution
  • NHS Improvement
  • NHS England
  • NHS Employers
  • NHS Confederation
  • NASHiCS
  • iosh
  • HSE
  • CQC
  • BMA
  • BDIA
  • BDA
  • BD
  • BBraun
  • ABHI
  • AAGBNI